Welcome to Lent! Our goal is to enter so deeply
into the life of Christ that together with him we
become A Light to the Nations.
The Daily Lenten Program
1. Begin the day with a consecration of the
day and ourselves to Our Lady.
2. Practice Lectio Divina using the
Scriptural passages and starter
3. Recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet at
some point during the day.
4. Brief examination of conscience at the
end of the day.
The Weekly Lenten Program
1. Step: Honor your Wedding Vows
2. Pathway to Excellence
Give honor with tongue.
Make sacrifice for spouse’s holiness.
3. Sacrifice: Offer your favorite food and/or
drink for your spouse.
4. Plan of Life: Select TMiY to be practiced
Having talked with thousands of men, I’m
convinced of one thing: you have no clue of the
vows you made during your Nuptial Mass! On the
practical level, most men equate it with sexual
The One Flesh Union
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of
my flesh; she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.
Therefore a man leaves his father and his
mother and cleaves to his wife, and they
become one flesh. And the man and his wife
were both naked and were not ashamed.”
The Reasons for Divorce
Issue by Men Incr. Prob.
Drugs or Alcohol 216%
Irritating Habits 127%
Wife is Jealous 101%
Wife is Critical 93%
Spends Money Foolishly 77%
Wife is Domineering 63%
Gets Angry Easily 46%
Source: Amato, P., et al, “A Longitudinal Study of
Marital Problems and Subsequent Divorce,” Journal
of Marriage and the Family, August 1997, Table 2.
• The brain processes pornographic images as if
they were real.
• The same neurochemcials are released in the
brain in response to pornographic images as
sexual relations with a real woman:
testosterone, vasopressin, oxytocin, dopamine,
epinephrine and norepinephrine.
• American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers:
Internet significant factor – 62%
Met new love over Internet – 68%
Obsessive interest in porn – 56%
Source: “Is the Internet Bad for Your Marriage?
Online Affairs, Pornographic Sites Playing Greater
Role in Divorces,”
76826727.html accessed on June 24, 2013.
Fidelity to the “one flesh union” is certainly
important to a happy marriage. But let’s go back
and consider those vows you made.
A Vow Made to God
“A vow is a deliberate and free promise
made to God concerning a possible and
better good which must be fulfilled … By
fulfilling his vows he renders to God
what has been promised and
consecrated to Him.”
The Wedding Vow
“I Steve take [RECEIVE] you Shelly as
my lawful wife to have and to hold from
this day forward for better, for worse, for
richer, for poorer, in sickness and in
health, until death do us part.”
The Three Questions of Consent
• “Have you come here freely and without
reservation to give yourselves to each other
• “Will you love and honor each other as man
and wife for the rest of your lives?
• Will you accept children lovingly from God
and raise them according to the laws of
Christ and his Church?
When we give honor to our spouse we “have and
hold” her in our hearts. Let us consider an
• 1891: Born to devout Jewish parents in Breslau,
Germany. Becomes atheist in youth.
• 1917: Receives Ph.D. in Philosophy.
• 1921: Reads St. Teresa of Avila and is converted.
• 1922: Baptized on January 1.
• 1933: Becomes a Carmelite.
• 1942: Sent to Auschwitz on August 7th.
• 1987: Beatified on May 1st.
• 1998: Canonized on October 11th.
• One of six patron saints of all of Europe.
accessed on June 24, 2013.
Edith Stein and a Sharp Tongue
• Gifted with a very sharp mind and intuitive ability to
• Seeks truth single-mindedly.
• Is able to clearly see when someone is heading
down an intellectual path that will not be accurate.
• Cuts them off before they get there.
• Denied faculty position.
• “Perhaps it is good for you to move on. You have
alienated many people here.”
• “I decided that from now on I would only use my
tongue to protect the vulnerability of others.”
The Perfect Man
“If any one makes no mistakes I what he says he is a
perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also … the
tongue is a little member and boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And
the tongue is fire .. For every kind of beast and bird,
of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has
been tamed by humankind, but no human being can
tame the tongue … With it we bless the Lord and
Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in
the likeness of God. From the same mouth come
blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to
To be Naked and Unashamed
• “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and
cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And
the man and his wife were both naked, and were not
• The spousal union is called to be so intimate that we
allow the other person to see the fullness of our own
person with hiding anything, which entails tremendous
• In our fallen nature, this includes the reality that we
know our spouse’s faults and vulnerability like no one
• We are called to protect this vulnerability not exploit it.
A Battle in the Heart of Man
• Testosterone and vasopressin prime a male brain
to aggressively guard territory and protect spouse
by simultaneously activating the amygdala
(emotional processing center of brain) and the
hypothalamus (mating center of the brain).
• “Instinctive male-male competition and hierarchical
fighting is driven by both hormones and brain
circuits. A special area in the male brain’s
hypothalamus … contain circuitry for this
instinctive one-upmanship” (Dr. Brizendine).
Source: Brizendine, L., “The Male Brain,” Broadway
Books, 2000, p.66 and pp. 109-111.
When we protect the vulnerability of our spouse at
great personal cost to ourselves, we become an
image of Christ.
The Sacrifice of the Bridegroom
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved
the Church and gave himself up for her,
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed
her by the washing of water with the word,
that he might present the Church to himself
in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any
such thing, that she might be holy and
We have discovered the pathway for the first step.
When we fulfill it, we become a manifestation of
the Father who is rich in mercy.
Live in sexual purity according to the 6th
and 9th Commandments.
Give honor to your spouse by always
speaking well of her in public.
Make a sacrifice for the purity of your
Step 1: Honor your Wedding Vows
Small Group Discussion
Use Money for Formation
1. How can you better guard the purity of your “one
2. How can you better honor your spouse by the use
of your tongue?